Cork City Council accused of “gaslighting” on cycling provision

Cork City Council has been accused by a leading local cycling campaigner of “gaslighting” on cycling provision.

In response to TheJournal.ie’s Noteworthy investigation on cycling, a Cork City Council spokesperson told Noteworthy that the council “is very cognisant of the key role that dedicated cycling infrastructure plays in the sustainable development of Cork City. We are constantly striving to ensure that adequate resources are available to maintain these facilities to a high standard.”

Noteworthy reported that the council spokesperson added that “this however can be challenging” and they “target available resources at locations of most need”.

Replying to the quote from the council. Conn Donovan, a cycling campaigner with the Cork Cycling Campaign said: “The gaslighting out of City Hall is intense. In a meeting this time last year with Cork Cycling Campaign committee members, Roads Management [of the council] felt cyclists should be thanking Roads Dept for building the cycle lanes in the first place.”

On Twitter, Donovan said: “There was a genuine sense of shock, anger that advocates and the cycling community were “complaining” and had held a rally outside City Hall.”

There has been significance concert raised about the attitude of Cork City Council officials towards cycling, including the council’s CEO.

When campaigners Sam McCormack and Majo Rivas last year had a meeting with Cork CEO Ann Doherty, the meeting started with Doherty reading out an email from a resident giving out about cyclists on footpaths.

Since then, IrishCycle.com has reported a number of times, including in December and February, how the city council continues to mix walking and cycling despite the concerns raised by its CEO. In the December example, the council responded to complaints from councillors and campaigners by mainly just removing shared space signs from the project on the Togher Road, when there was space to keep walking and cycling separate.

The city council is also involved with the Lee Flood Relief Scheme, which includes a plan to turn segregated cycle paths into shared footpath while leaving general traffic lanes and car parking unaffected. The Cork City Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme is being rolled out by the Office of Public Works in conjunction with Cork City Council and Cork County Council.’

ALSO READ: ‘Frustrated, worried, stressed and anxious’: The worst places in Ireland to be a cyclist (on thejournal.ie)

CORRECTED: The headline and first paragraph originally incorrectly said county rather than city. Apologies for any confusion.

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

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